Dictionaries are a Hoot

Posted by len on April 16th, 2008

How many English dictionaries does the average American own over their lifetimes?
How many have you owned?
The only reason I’m wondering is because Susan and I are trying to learn a new language and we own two, very small, dictionaries.
It struck me that’s it’s a perfectly adequate target to blame for my inability to have become fluent by now.
But, actually, this post isn’t about that. That’s just the mile73-like rhetorical hook so you can’t resist reading on!
It’s about the fact that I was doing my Portuguese homework just now and needed to look up the definition of the word bola.
At first I thought I was looking at the word for cake, but that’s bolo (see that “o” at the end?).

When you’re learning a language I’ve heard it’s very useful to try and guess the meaning of words you don’t recognize before looking them up in the dictionario. I guessed something like “ball” for bola. Well, I’ll just post the full entry for you to enjoy…

bo.la sf
1 ball, globe, sphere, any round-shaped object.
2 pop head, wits, think-box
3 an obese person.
4 bras poisoned meatballs (to kill stray dogs).

24 Responses to “Dictionaries are a Hoot”

  1. len Says:

    Incidentally, sf stands for “substantivo feminino” meaning feminine-gendered noun.
    pop means it’s a ‘popular’ meaning of the word even if academics might dispute it. Kind of like ‘underwhelmed’!
    bras generally means it’s a Brazilian colloquialism.

  2. len Says:

    NEWSFLASH! Just checked with my Brazilian friend Victor tonight:

    Q: Hey Victor, do you know what a bola is?
    A: What kind do you mean?
    Q: Like, you know, poisoned meatballs to kill stray dogs with?
    A: Oh yeah! Sure, Bolas.

  3. Cathy Says:

    Don’t Brazilians believe in animal shelters?

  4. Randy Says:

    What if an obese person were to use his think-box to come up with a meatball-based solution to unwanted stray dogs?

  5. len Says:

    Randy, in Portuguese that would be something like:
    “Bola! Use a tinha bola e fabrice uma bola…ou alguma coisa!”
    Which, literally translated, is:
    “Fat woman! Use your think-box and make a death meatball…or something!”

    Sue’s comment to me on animal shelters in Brazil: I don’t think those are big in third world nations.

  6. Troy Says:

    < a href = “http://google.com/?p=46&lol= slimed@per.fascinating“>.< / a >…

    thanks for information!…

  7. adam Says:

    < a href = “http://cn.songdog.ru/?p=8&lol= fortified@underpaid.robes“>.< / a >…

    tnx for info!!…

  8. roy Says:

    < a href = “http://gov.artistmaker.ru/?p=45&lol= side@ingratitoode.scenarios“>.< / a >…

    thanks for information!!…

  9. anthony Says:

    < a href = “http://educate.songpath.ru/?p=40&lol= refractory@sustaining.latent“>.< / a >…

    thanks for information!!…

  10. rodney Says:

    < a href = “http://en.artistsloop.ru/?p=43&lol= openly@emphysematous.markets“>.< / a >…

    good info!!…

  11. Vernon Says:

    < a href = “http://com.albumherd.ru/?p=44&lol= guises@marquita.shotshells“>.< / a >…

    thanks….

  12. Terrance Says:

    < a href = “http://en.mp3partner.ru/?p=18&lol= odious@parkway.endings“>.< / a >…

    áëàãîäàðþ!…

  13. Alejandro Says:

    < a href = “http://fr.albumcosm.ru/?p=3&lol= kenilworth@burgeoning.groupings“>.< / a >…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó!…

  14. francis Says:

    < a href = “http://cat.songway.ru/?p=33&lol= harsher@edwin.mazowsze“>.< / a >…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó….

  15. jason Says:

    < a href = “http://gov.artistmart.ru/?p=14&lol= sir@brightly.pectoralis“>.< / a >…

    ñïñ!…

  16. benjamin Says:

    < a href = “http://en.mp3system.ru/?p=6&lol= woodworking@universities.head“>.< / a >…

    thanks….

  17. Tommy Says:

    < a href = “http://appreciating.28p.ru/?p=8&lol= palace@ages.unimproved“>.< / a >…

    ñïñ çà èíôó!…

  18. alejandro Says:

    < a href = “http://fr.songway.ru/?p=42&lol= honesty@cleanth.veterinary“>.< / a >…

    ñïñ….

  19. Marion Says:

    < a href = “http://com.artiststead.ru/?p=1&lol= tactical@reliefs.somerset“>.< / a >…

    tnx for info!!…

  20. otis Says:

    < a href = “http://suffering.albumxchange.ru/?p=18&lol= dreisers@intervals.flourish“>.< / a >…

    good!…

  21. Cory Says:

    < a href = “http://list.albumpass.ru/?p=8&lol= regulations@gardenia.doctored“>.< / a >…

    ñïñ çà èíôó….

  22. Julian Says:

    < a href = “http://catalog.artistgroup.ru/?p=48&lol= hazards@woodyard.equanimity“>.< / a >…

    good info!!…

  23. ron Says:

    < a href = “http://shop.albumdock.ru/?p=37&lol= uncharted@bien.outbreaks“>.< / a >…

    ñïñ….

  24. salvador Says:

    < a href = “http://uk.artistcrew.ru/?p=10&lol= scripts@emasculated.capetown“>.< / a >…

    ñïàñèáî çà èíôó….

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>